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Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking

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Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide. Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide. Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to crafting sentences to developing your own style, Grant Barrett provides you with the tools and motivation to improve the way you communicate. Perfect English Grammar helps you clearly say what you want to say—and the best way to say it. Never Be Wrong: Catchy examples help you remember core grammar rules Sharpen Your Style: Composition guidelines let you express yourself fully Look It Up: Seamless navigation makes it easy to find answers quickly Geek Out: Explore the tricky questions with Grant Barrett’s help Whether you’re a busy professional or on the job hunt, Perfect English Grammar makes it easier than ever to improve your grasp of grammar.


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Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide. Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide. Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to crafting sentences to developing your own style, Grant Barrett provides you with the tools and motivation to improve the way you communicate. Perfect English Grammar helps you clearly say what you want to say—and the best way to say it. Never Be Wrong: Catchy examples help you remember core grammar rules Sharpen Your Style: Composition guidelines let you express yourself fully Look It Up: Seamless navigation makes it easy to find answers quickly Geek Out: Explore the tricky questions with Grant Barrett’s help Whether you’re a busy professional or on the job hunt, Perfect English Grammar makes it easier than ever to improve your grasp of grammar.

30 review for Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking

  1. 5 out of 5

    William

    I'm not sure how to rate this book since I read it for information purposes. On the one hand, I found it very well written, but on the other, I didn't read it for recreational purposes. Kind of an "apples to oranges" scenario, so I decided not to assign a rating. The book offers some high-level guidance on different aspects of writing. "How to get started," and such. After that, the rest of the book is a guide for "Perfect English Grammar." As I mentioned earlier, it's a well-written book. This is I'm not sure how to rate this book since I read it for information purposes. On the one hand, I found it very well written, but on the other, I didn't read it for recreational purposes. Kind of an "apples to oranges" scenario, so I decided not to assign a rating. The book offers some high-level guidance on different aspects of writing. "How to get started," and such. After that, the rest of the book is a guide for "Perfect English Grammar." As I mentioned earlier, it's a well-written book. This is dry classroom material, but the author does a great job of making it as enjoyable as possible. One added bonus is a dual-use layout; you can read it cover-to-cover, or use it as a reference. What I learned is that my grammar, while not horrible, could use some improvement. I plan to use the book as a reference but also bought a Grammarly subscription to save some time. Recommended for people like myself who want a quick refresher on grammar rules.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Coralie

    An excellent reference book. I read it cover to cover (Yes, I am a nerd. I do love my language.). The author displays his knowledge of the English language without seeming snobby or showing a know-it-all attitude. He writes in a style that is inviting and yet knowledgeable, which appeals to several audiences. It could be used by professionals to look up and double check something or by new learners ready to dive a little deeper into the nitty gritty. It's mostly a surface level look at the langu An excellent reference book. I read it cover to cover (Yes, I am a nerd. I do love my language.). The author displays his knowledge of the English language without seeming snobby or showing a know-it-all attitude. He writes in a style that is inviting and yet knowledgeable, which appeals to several audiences. It could be used by professionals to look up and double check something or by new learners ready to dive a little deeper into the nitty gritty. It's mostly a surface level look at the language, but the book provides several examples to illustrate each point and breaks the language down into individual bits and pieces that are easy to swallow.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erin Brenner

    Like most mainstream grammar books, Perfect English Grammar contains explanations and advice beyond grammar, also covering usage, spelling, style, and writing. It’s written for a wide variety of writers and speakers to help improve their communication. Unlike some grammar handbooks, this one is empowering. It isn’t a list of don’ts. It doesn’t oversimplify rules to the point of being wrong. And it doesn’t pretend that the advice between its covers is the only way to write and speak. Says Barrett i Like most mainstream grammar books, Perfect English Grammar contains explanations and advice beyond grammar, also covering usage, spelling, style, and writing. It’s written for a wide variety of writers and speakers to help improve their communication. Unlike some grammar handbooks, this one is empowering. It isn’t a list of don’ts. It doesn’t oversimplify rules to the point of being wrong. And it doesn’t pretend that the advice between its covers is the only way to write and speak. Says Barrett in the introductory materials, “My goal is to help you make the best choice for your situation without having to fear somebody will hunt you down and make fun of you because you did it your way instead of their way.” Is it a worthwhile book for copyeditors, especially more experienced editors? Read the full review at Copyediting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alan Briggs

    He explains each point clearly and with examples. Well worth reading

  5. 5 out of 5

    SOMDReigel

    The title of the book leads you believe that this is a book on grammar. This book is so much more. It’s an informative guide on writing well, spelling, usage, and more. The Table of Contents is clear and you can find your answers easily. There are example sentences, charts, lists, and a glossary. I like the size of the book and the font used. Overall, a very nice reference book to have on hand to improve your punctuation and communication skills. I received this product for free in exchange for m The title of the book leads you believe that this is a book on grammar. This book is so much more. It’s an informative guide on writing well, spelling, usage, and more. The Table of Contents is clear and you can find your answers easily. There are example sentences, charts, lists, and a glossary. I like the size of the book and the font used. Overall, a very nice reference book to have on hand to improve your punctuation and communication skills. I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Wegner

    This book is so good! It teaches you all about grammar! So awesome! You should totally read it! I had a change in my life by this big book! So many pages with good details!❤

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kemper

    I read this book as a refresher, and found myself wanting and needing more. I needed more examples for practice, with explanations as to why the examples are right or wrong. And,yes, this is a reference book-but I read it. So I’m counting it toward my books read in 2021.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Giorgi Chkheidze

    I have read this book to the last page and although I have not used it as a reference, I understand that it may be used in such a way too. To be frank, I did not expect that this book would be such an easy and comfortable read with grammatical concepts explained in an orderly, concise and precise manner. As a non-native speaker of English, I am very surprised by the result and I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining confidence in their English language skills. I have read this book to the last page and although I have not used it as a reference, I understand that it may be used in such a way too. To be frank, I did not expect that this book would be such an easy and comfortable read with grammatical concepts explained in an orderly, concise and precise manner. As a non-native speaker of English, I am very surprised by the result and I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining confidence in their English language skills.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Kellogg

    Quite good This is a straightforward, no-nonsense guide to grammar and usage. There is nothing idiosyncratic: it comes at you right down the middle. It's not as exhaustive as some guides and approaches every topic as though you know nothing, but in today's world that might be needed. Quite good This is a straightforward, no-nonsense guide to grammar and usage. There is nothing idiosyncratic: it comes at you right down the middle. It's not as exhaustive as some guides and approaches every topic as though you know nothing, but in today's world that might be needed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz VanDerwerken

    A straightforward no-nonsense guide to English grammar basics. A good refresher in a more digestible format than a lengthy/in-depth style guide. The book is organized well for quick reference uses or to read cover to cover.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reyhaneh Alimohammadi

    Have you heard "the only person you shouldn't learn English from is an American"? This book is written by an American who knows what is missing in your grammar skills. I finally found the answers to all my questions. Have you heard "the only person you shouldn't learn English from is an American"? This book is written by an American who knows what is missing in your grammar skills. I finally found the answers to all my questions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Balthazar Hawke

    Excellent book. I will go back to it anytime I need a refresher. Edit (Second read): I came back to get my refresher and I'm definitely satisfied I did. I'm leaving with a few extra pieces of knowledge I missed the first time I read it. Excellent book. I will go back to it anytime I need a refresher. Edit (Second read): I came back to get my refresher and I'm definitely satisfied I did. I'm leaving with a few extra pieces of knowledge I missed the first time I read it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Puma

    This grammar resource is good to have on hand for those who write often and want a refresher on key concepts. I worked in publishing for years and did well because mostly good grammar comes naturally to me since I am a native English speaker. However, I am aware of my shortcomings. I know from helping my younger brother edit high school papers that I wouldn't be able to teach English grammar; I could line edit his work but I was poor at explaining why certain things needed to be corrected. Ever This grammar resource is good to have on hand for those who write often and want a refresher on key concepts. I worked in publishing for years and did well because mostly good grammar comes naturally to me since I am a native English speaker. However, I am aware of my shortcomings. I know from helping my younger brother edit high school papers that I wouldn't be able to teach English grammar; I could line edit his work but I was poor at explaining why certain things needed to be corrected. Ever since being introduced to nuanced grammatical concepts in junior year AP English Language & Composition, I remain insecure in the definitions of different parts of a sentence, types of words, and cases, etc. Linguist & dictionary editor Grant Barrett's book touches upon many of these grammar definitions and rules. Topics include: parts of speech, determiners, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, and many more. Regardless, this is much more of a quick reference than a teaching guide, for there is only 2-3 sentences explaining each topic and then a few examples. I cannot say I am any more confident in my grammar after reading this, and I do not think any non-native English speaker would be able to use this to teach themselves proper grammar. So no, I do not think this book would give you the powers of "perfect English grammar" or make sure you can "never be wrong" again. Overall, this is a small, short guide that could make a cute Christmas present for your favorite high school teacher. This guide did a good job of pointing out what is technically good grammar, but noting that writers should follow the expected style guides of their company/university/audience etc. I can imagine those working in a writing profession having this on their shelf next to their dictionaries, thesauruses, and other books on writing advice. I got this for $9 in the Barnes & Noble Bargained Books section, and it's probably been work the money.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie Dunn

    I use this book almost every day. I, in fact, have it on my desk right now as I type this and I finished reading it almost a year ago. This is the best grammar resource that I have found since The Elements of Style by EB White and William Strunk. Not to discredit The Elements of Style, but this book needs to be used as an addition as it's chalk full of updated information and a personal sense of writing for a resource book. Grant Barrett is also very personal on Twitter and I feel if you have an I use this book almost every day. I, in fact, have it on my desk right now as I type this and I finished reading it almost a year ago. This is the best grammar resource that I have found since The Elements of Style by EB White and William Strunk. Not to discredit The Elements of Style, but this book needs to be used as an addition as it's chalk full of updated information and a personal sense of writing for a resource book. Grant Barrett is also very personal on Twitter and I feel if you have any questions, he'd be happy to answer them for you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    The main reason I wanted to read this book is that I really enjoy Grant Barrett's podcast, A Way With Words. I also feel terribly rusty about the fine points of grammar, and since I work as an editor I thought this book would patch those chinks. Honestly, I was disappointed even thought that was unfair; the book is pointedly intended for language learners, and he does a great job of providing clear explanations. I ended up zooming through sections (fine!) and taking a gloss, but with notes marke The main reason I wanted to read this book is that I really enjoy Grant Barrett's podcast, A Way With Words. I also feel terribly rusty about the fine points of grammar, and since I work as an editor I thought this book would patch those chinks. Honestly, I was disappointed even thought that was unfair; the book is pointedly intended for language learners, and he does a great job of providing clear explanations. I ended up zooming through sections (fine!) and taking a gloss, but with notes marked throughout for reference.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Bohemian

    Had all the good stuff Contained many grammar rules I needed to double check and make sure I didn't dream up. It didn't contain fundamental ABCs for someone just starting the language. Only thing that was lacking was the colon and semicolon section. Makes me wonder if anything else was lacking. Had all the good stuff Contained many grammar rules I needed to double check and make sure I didn't dream up. It didn't contain fundamental ABCs for someone just starting the language. Only thing that was lacking was the colon and semicolon section. Makes me wonder if anything else was lacking.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Audra Gayle

    I love Grant Barrett and A Way with Words! It's been a long time since I've read a decent style guide. If you're looking for a great refresher on the basics or your kids/students need a good reference guide to keep on hand, I highly recommend this book. I love Grant Barrett and A Way with Words! It's been a long time since I've read a decent style guide. If you're looking for a great refresher on the basics or your kids/students need a good reference guide to keep on hand, I highly recommend this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Placid

    The explanations throughout this book (and even the definitions in the glossary) are awkwardly stated and/or are too vague and leave loopholes that shouldn't be there. They left me confused so I ended up looking up definitions on Google and dictionary.com, which did a much better job. The explanations throughout this book (and even the definitions in the glossary) are awkwardly stated and/or are too vague and leave loopholes that shouldn't be there. They left me confused so I ended up looking up definitions on Google and dictionary.com, which did a much better job.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Feltskog

    One of the better grammar books I've found, and I spend a lot of time with books like this one. Concise, clear, and readable. Highly recommended. One of the better grammar books I've found, and I spend a lot of time with books like this one. Concise, clear, and readable. Highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stanley

    An excellent reference book. I am sure I will visit often.

  21. 4 out of 5

    alex1986

    Not interesting Not recommended. Brief description and lack of examples. 2 out of 5 Rating. Author should have elaborate more details and not provide an overview.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Neil

    A useful compendium of basic English grammar rules.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    A highly recommended book for a beginner and basically covered everything used in daily life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    A short, well-written reference book. A quick scan will improve your writing by reminding you of all those nit-picky rules you have forgotten or regularly question yourself about.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John Muriango

    Good refresher book on English grammar. Highly recommended must-have book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anton Golubtsov

    It is a great well-written reference book but it is a bit too brief in a sense that does provide enough example or background on 30% of the topics it touched.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adams Sin

    For entry level This is good for the one with beginner level in learning English. Recommend for those who are studying in primary school

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gisela Hausmann

    At first, this book " Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking" confused me a bit. In part is sounds as if it was written for students, "... In elementary and high school composition classes, you may have been told the body of a paragraph should have three, five, seven, or more supporting sentences. By all means, follow your teachers’ instructions and give them what they want... " (which is sound advice!) Other parts sound as if they are written for the wr At first, this book " Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking" confused me a bit. In part is sounds as if it was written for students, "... In elementary and high school composition classes, you may have been told the body of a paragraph should have three, five, seven, or more supporting sentences. By all means, follow your teachers’ instructions and give them what they want... " (which is sound advice!) Other parts sound as if they are written for the writer who suffers from writer's block or the blogger who feels he has to post a blog but can't come with an idea, "... Just write. Write anything. Write what you ate for breakfast. Just get started putting something on that blank page. Break that psychological barrier..." That being said, Grant Barrett offers very neat idea how to deal with all these issues - for all, "... Start at the end. If your hero dies in the end, write that first. Then, write what happened right before the hero died. And then write what happened before that..." After I overcame my first confusion I really liked this book. Grant mixes basics (e.g. the difference between it's and its) and illustrating great writing techniques using writing samples from Kenneth Grahame and Ernest Hemingway. Though at first this felt strange to me, it is an interesting technique to make the book entertaining. The reader never knows what's next. One of the most astonishing take aways from this book was, "... Microsoft Word, the most widely used word processing software in the world, has for more than 30 years mistakenly autocorrected apostrophes at the beginning of words, including date abbreviations. The apostrophe should curve to the left, not the right. Wrong: the ‘80s Right: the ’80s..." I have never heard this before, and, boy, was I impressed. Also, since I am a non fiction author who in the past has struggled with how to list numbers properly e.g. dates of historic events I was delighted to find a chapter about this for me very important information. I was equally fascinated with the chapter about hyphenation, "... no hyphenation, there was a chance we could be confused. We didn’t know which was meant: 30-gallon bags = Each bag is 30 gallons in size. 30 gallon-bags = There are 30 one-gallon bags. This example shows what a useful book "Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking" is. Even though most of us won't ever have to write a professional product about trash bags, Barrett uses well chosen examples, that help the reader to understand the knowledge and retain it. Grant Barrett also elaborates on the difference between speaking properly and writing properly. He humored me with the following line, "... Even the writing of those few authors who seem to be writing in the mishmash of spoken language, such as James Joyce, are still very hard to understand for most readers. Plus, Joyce had a very good editor, which most of us do not have..." In school I suffered greatly, when we had to read Joyce. Sadly, I had find out that I misspell a word consistently, (and most people who materials I read) gee: gentle surprise In the past I spelled the word (ghee) Barrett proves that his book is a modern book. He also lists the common interjections: ugh: mild disgust or dislike whoops: minor mistake yay: pleasure at an outcome All in all - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - for all!!! I'll have to re-read the chapter about punctuation, this topic is a constant problem and concern in my life. 5 stars, Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    Grant Barret is co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, A Way with Words. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I hoped it would contain some of the geeky word trivia he dispenses in the podcast. I feel like I got my money's worth just for finally finding out how the hell we ended up with "won't" as the contraction for "will not." That puzzle has bugged me for years. (Yeah, I probably couldn't have googled it.) Basically, this book is a good refresher course on all those grammar thing Grant Barret is co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, A Way with Words. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I hoped it would contain some of the geeky word trivia he dispenses in the podcast. I feel like I got my money's worth just for finally finding out how the hell we ended up with "won't" as the contraction for "will not." That puzzle has bugged me for years. (Yeah, I probably couldn't have googled it.) Basically, this book is a good refresher course on all those grammar things we learned in school. It's handy for when you can't quite remember what a conjunctive adverb is (or why you should care), but it's also useful for debunking the old rant about not starting a sentence with "hopefully" or defending that "they" is acceptable as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Among all these useful tidbits are tasty sprinkles of language history, the sort that make word nerds smile. I wish I'd had this book when I was teaching ESL. The many examples and concise explanations would have been helpful. For ESL students, the usefulness will depend on their fluency in English. I think beginner students might be frustrated by it. Advanced ESL students will likely find the e-book format useful on a phone for quick access. Kudos to whomever formatted the e-book edition's navigation. There are plenty of cross-references, and every link I tried worked perfectly.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    More targeting fiction writers or English learners. An odd mix of technical definitions and shallow glossing over of grammar.

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